An open trial assessment of “The Number Race”, an adaptive computer game for remediation of dyscalculia. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 2(20)

INSERM-CEA Unit 562, Cognitive Neuroimaging Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, CEA-DRM-DSV, 91401 Orsay, France.
Behavioral and Brain Functions (Impact Factor: 1.97). 02/2006; 2(1):20. DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-2-20
Source: PubMed


In a companion article, we described the development and evaluation of software designed to remediate dyscalculia. This software is based on the hypothesis that dyscalculia is due to a "core deficit" in number sense or in its access via symbolic information. Here we review the evidence for this hypothesis, and present results from an initial open-trial test of the software in a sample of nine 7-9 year old children with mathematical difficulties.
Children completed adaptive training on numerical comparison for half an hour a day, four days a week over a period of five-weeks. They were tested before and after intervention on their performance in core numerical tasks: counting, transcoding, base-10 comprehension, enumeration, addition, subtraction, and symbolic and non-symbolic numerical comparison.
Children showed specific increases in performance on core number sense tasks. Speed of subitizing and numerical comparison increased by several hundred msec. Subtraction accuracy increased by an average of 23%. Performance on addition and base-10 comprehension tasks did not improve over the period of the study.
Initial open-trial testing showed promising results, and suggested that the software was successful in increasing number sense over the short period of the study. However these results need to be followed up with larger, controlled studies. The issues of transfer to higher-level tasks, and of the best developmental time window for intervention also need to be addressed.

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Available from: Anna J. Wilson, Nov 01, 2014
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    • "Therefore, the goal of this study was to develop and evaluate an intervention for children with MID. We presented the intervention in a game-like format because previous studies in children with mathematical difficulties (Kucian et al., 2011; Wilson et al., 2006b) and children from low-income backgrounds (Ramani & Siegler, 2008, 2011; Siegler & Ramani, 2008, 2009) have shown that simple short games are particularly effective in fostering children's numerical representations. The intervention comprised eight 15-min sessions, which was somewhat more than in previous interventions in kindergarteners from low-income backgrounds (Ramani & Siegler, 2008; Siegler & Ramani, 2009). "
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    • "The game “Number Race” [52], which worked on basic numerical cognition, was given to children with Dyscalculia between ages 7 and 9 for 30 minutes per day, on 4 days a week, until a maximum of 10 hours of training was reached (due to absences, the average was 8 hours of training) [43]. After the intervention and post-test, the authors concluded that the intervention improved the children's concept of numbers. "
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    • "After 10 to 15 min a day for 3 weeks, the children in the intervention group exhibited better performance than the typically developing children in number comparison, but not in other areas of number processing, such as arithmetic and counting . It seems that the training of number sense could promote simple numerical processing, such as number comparison, but could not improve more advanced mathematical processing (e.g., Räsänen et al., 2009; Wilson et al., 2006). Interventions on mathematical skills were conducted on some areas of mathematics, such as counting, arithmetic facts, computation, and mathematical problem solving. "
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